As smartphones and tablets continue to become more and more advanced, and an increasing number of devices and appliances are becoming “smarter” and are internet connected, many are leaving behind outdated tools like landline phones. But not everyone. I even reviewed a brand new landline phone from Motorola not too long ago. And now, here’s another reason not to toss away Mr. Bell’s invention: a solution from Obihai which supports Google Voice on “regular” phones.
Obihai has flirted with Google Voice support for some time. But this recent announcement makes it official. And it couldn’t have been better timing. Only a few days ago, Google completed its integration of Google Voice and Hangouts.This has actually been a pretty exciting transition, and my friends at TechDissected and I have been enjoying watching the rollout of the new versions of the apps, and testing its features on different devices.
This news from Google in itself is something of a game-changer. Not only can you get all your voice and text messages in the same place, but you can also send SMS and make phone calls over WiFi using the new Hangouts dialer. Without a calling plan. No carrier needed. And the price is right too: free for calls within the US and Canada, 1¢ per minute to call to the US from overseas, and rates to call the rest of the world which are a fraction of what mobile or landline carriers are charging.
So it seems a timely move for Obihai, the Silicon Valley-based company known, among other things, for its telephony and specifically VOIP solutions, to solidify its support for Google Voice now. As part of their offerings which have focused on using VOIP phones and adapters to allow calling without a landline, Obihai has unofficially supported Google Voice for quite some time. It was expected back in the spring that this would be discontinued, as part of Google’s discontinuation of support for third party connections to Voice.
However, not only did Obihai survive the cutoff, but they’re now able to offer “official” support. With an Obihai device, you can now make and receive calls over Google Voice using a “regular” phone. After logging in to your Google Voice account, you will simply need to add the device to your account, and all of the collaborative features we’ve come to love about Voice will be available.
The Obihai device itself is an adapter which allows you to plug in a “regular” phone (cordless or corded) and use your existing broadband connection to make and receive calls. They’re currently available, with prices starting at around $50 per unit. The only feature of standard calling which is not included is 911 service, which is not currently a part of Google Voice. But Obihai will allow you to subscribe to an E911 VoIP service for a nominal charge.
If you’re a Google Voice user, will this keep you from sending your old phone to the dump? Or, will you pull the old workhouse out of the attic to connect via an Obihai device? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.
Source: Google Voice and Obihai Update
Website: Google Voice